Thread: Cost Benefit

  1. #26
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    190: You are not alone in the battle to get by the computer. In a rural setting where the population is low it becomes a "hard sell" to get the cost benefit down low enough to make the computer happy. Many of us can write a compelling argument for the peer reviewers if it gets to them.

    It seems that you have done everything you can to lower the numbers, especially offering to fund a greater than required percentage. We did the same this year for a tanker. it took three years to fine tune our app enough to get by the computer scoring and to peer review.

    We did get the dj from peer but at least they read our argument/ proposal. We figured this would be our last chance as we just took delivery of a new brush truck, and have a new ambulance on order for April delivery. The 2 new trucks will skew our fleet average age enough that asking for a new replacement tanker for our 24 year old one will probably not make it past the dreaded "computer DJ".
    Good Luck on your 09 app.

    P.S. If we could add all our lobsters into the population count we'd be golden. Somewhere around 4 million brought ahore every year.
    Last edited by islandfire03; 03-03-2009 at 02:33 PM. Reason: added additional sentence

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    It's easy to hate the Fema computers 190. The rural depts. seem to take a hit on the cost/benefit issue. It's tough to watch firefighters drive old and unsafe vehicles yet I can see how the larger areas can help more people. But there is at least one nice computer that gave us the chance and we received a small rescue/pumper. Just keep on trying. Best of luck to you and all of the other rural depts. Be safe.
    Ed

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    I suggest you leave the formula out. Make your case what would happened if one of your crew was injured or killed. The breadwinner for that family is lost and usually results in an exodus of the family from the area. A viable member of the community and contributor to your areas tax base is eliminated.
    There are other cost benefits aspects to consider than just the formulas, cost per use and cost per person.

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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    190: You are not alone in the battle to get by the computer. In a rural setting where the population is low it becomes a "hard sell" to get the cost benefit down low enough to make the computer happy. Many of us can write a compelling argument for the peer reviewers if it gets to them.

    It seems that you have done everything you can to lower the numbers, especially offering to fund a greater than required percentage. We did the same this year for a tanker. it took three years to fine tune our app enough to get by the computer scoring and to peer review.

    We did get the dj from peer but at least they read our argument/ proposal. We figured this would be our last chance as we just took delivery of a new brush truck, and have a new ambulance on order for April delivery. The 2 new trucks will skew our fleet average age enough that asking for a new replacement tanker for our 24 year old one will probably not make it past the dreaded "computer DJ".
    Good Luck on your 09 app.

    P.S. If we could add all our lobsters into the population count we'd be golden. Somewhere around 4 million brought ahore every year.
    Congrats on your new aquisitions 'Island Fire'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jam24u View Post
    Congrats on your new aquisitions 'Island Fire'.
    Thanks Jam24u: 2008 was a very busy year with 2 truck committees going at the same time.
    The first one for the new brush truck was the first time the town [taxpayers] have fully funded a new vehicle for us under a new purchasing program. The town purchased and will own the truck and lease it to us for $1.00 per year.
    We will insure it and maintain it for the length of the lease agreement [20 yrs.]
    It is replacing a 1982 mini pumper that is getting very tired and was the last gasoline powered truck in our fleet. We took delivery last week and it is sitting in our station waiting on a few little punch list items to be completed.

    Truck #2 was a new type III ALS ambulance to replace our 1985 Medtec.
    This was my primary responsibility as Rescue Captain to write a spec and present it to the town to go out to bid. The process was challenging at times and took several months to get through "the process" with the town. In the end it worked out well and the low bidder was actually the unit we preferred
    due to their experience and history with rural services here in Maine. Our new PL Custom is scheduled for final inspection / delivery in mid April.

    Next on the plate will be to put together a bid spec for the tanker that we've DJ'd on for three years and go forward with the process with the town.

    It's a lot of work but the end results are worth it. :-}

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    What is the most accurate way for determing the population data? Our coverage area is spread through three zipcodes but those entire zipcodes are not ours, just portions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Menlo715 View Post
    What is the most accurate way for determing the population data? Our coverage area is spread through three zipcodes but those entire zipcodes are not ours, just portions.
    We cover parts of 2 townships. I took the census data for each township and broke it down. We cover half of one, so I took half the population. We cover 2/3 of the other, so took 2/3 of the population. Pretty rough I know, but it is as good as we can get.

    Beth

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    Talk to the bean counters if you are a taxing body. Probably someone in the tax assessors office. If you are a taxing body then someone has to account for all the houses and residents to collect the money from them.

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    If town/city census will have population. Census will also have population of the township including towns contained in it. For you rural pop. subtract the town pop from the total and divide by square miles in the township. Gives you pop/sq mi. Times the area you cover. Good enough answer.

    Adjust as require if you have a rural boarding school, concentration of Amish farms a hippie commune etc in your area. Consider significant factors that increases population in your area since the 2000 census that might not yet be measured by the gov't.

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    Just remember that for the purposes of this application, the official 2000 census is the numbers they want to see. Sometimes you may have to estimate for split coverage areas, but try to start with census.gov. Don't want to get hung up on something like that.

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    Does anybody know the useful sevice life for a quick attack that DHS uses? I have been useing 20 years. I am stil waiting for quotes to come back but am useing $135,000 for a rough figure. Useing those #'s my cost per use works out to $87.66 but my per person is at $8.80. I can justify these figures in my narrative but am concerned about the computer! We may be able to come up with $15,000 to $20,000 to bring these #'s down but the per person is stil high. I think my chances with the computer are about 50/50 with us on the wrong side.
    Also, I remember reading that one application does not affect the other, such as Operations and Safety and vehicle. Is this so? I have worked on getting ready for turnout gear but I don't want to screw that up by submitting a app. for a truck.
    Does anybody have a guess at my chances?

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    RJ : if your figures are correct then you can only change the cost factor. Either put in a higher % amount as a co-pay or buy a lower cost truck.

    Looking at last years awards it seems the the limit for a quick attack was 125k

    We just took delivery on a 2008 F550 6x4 chassis with a kabota diesel powered 300 gallon skid unit , with a 250gpm 80cfm cafs unit mounted on an aluminum body. our cost was 124k. It was built just north of you and speaks french.

    Applying for a grant in one category does not affect a grant in the other category.

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    islandfire03,

    is the figure I am useing for useful servicelife correct? Our normal service life for our trucks is up around 30 years. This is not by choice but budget! Useing cost per person wewill only be eligible for a truck around $30,000. even at 30 years this doesent look good for us!
    Last edited by rjcont; 03-12-2009 at 09:45 AM.

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    RJ: we also have an expected life cycle for apparatus of 25 - 30 years, due to call volume and usage. The brush truck we just replaced was 27 years old. The industry standard according to the big $$$ experts our town hired to do an emergency services study concluded that we should aim to have a 20-25 year replacement cycle for fire vehicles and 10-12 years for ambulances.
    This just gives us an added cost and we don't replace something just because a magic age number shows up. We replace when the truck becomes unsafe or unreliable.

    Trying to justify the cost /person benefit is very hard based simply on the numbers due to low population counts and low run numbers. Getting by the computer is the hard part . If you can do that and get a fellow fire service member to read your narrative it stands a better chance if you paint the proper picture. Show them why you get an average of 25 years plus as a service life and how you NEED this piece of fire apparatus to protect your community and to make your job safer for the FF's.
    I wish I could give you a magic phrase to get by the computer ,but the numbers are what they are and you can't change them. Just try to keep the purchase cost as low as you can and hope for the best.
    Good luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjcont View Post
    islandfire03,

    is the figure I am useing for useful servicelife correct? Our normal service life for our trucks is up around 30 years. This is not by choice but budget! Useing cost per person wewill only be eligible for a truck around $30,000. even at 30 years this doesent look good for us!
    Just out of curiosity, what kind of population do you have compared to your call numbers?

    Have you considered just using the cost/run number and leave the cost/person out? I've only ever used one, whichever one best benefits my project.

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    Catch22

    In my narrative I have considered using only the better of the 2 numbers. My concern is getting past the computer. Do I have a good enough shot at it? We have a population of 767 and our average call volume is around 77.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjcont View Post
    Catch22

    In my narrative I have considered using only the better of the 2 numbers. My concern is getting past the computer. Do I have a good enough shot at it? We have a population of 767 and our average call volume is around 77.
    Are you a municipal department? The reason I ask is that you have a rather solid number for a population (not "about xxx"). If you have some rural area, are you making sure to count your population there?

    Make sure you're capalizing on your runs, as well as your coverage area and population. I don't know how you tally runs, but I know some of our departments around here that do themselves a disservice on the way they classify runs. They don't count flu fires as a "structure fire". They'll disregard on an MVC if advised no injuries en route, classifying it as a "cancelled en route" instead of downgrading and assisting with traffic control or checking for fluid spills and counting it as an MVC.

    The same thing can happen if guys aren't completing run reports, which is a problem I've had in the past. Since the opening of our 911 center last year, I get a monthly print-off of our calls so I can make sure we have an accurate count. I've found as many as 12 calls in a month where I had no run reports for calls I didn't know occurred (because I was at work or out of pager range that day), some of which were fire runs.

    I'm not talking about tweeking or padding stats, mind you. Just make sure you're getting the credit where it should be. Sometimes little things can make a difference.

    As far as what kind of population and run numbers it takes to beat the computer, I honestly don't know. I have seen smaller departments than you get awarded, though.

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    I have my operations and safety for PPE all done except for crossing the t's and dotting the I's so the research is done and the #'s are solid. With help from Kurt Bradley and all the reading I have done here I think we have a good shot. Right now I am laid up with hand sugery and have the next 4 to 6 weeks with nothing to do but research the next project on our list. So at this point I am putting #'s together and trying to figure our chances for a Brush/Quick attack. I have everything in front of me but the actuall truck cost and am thinking I have about a 50% chance if we make it past the computer. That's good enough for me to try, You do not know if fema will award untill you ask.

    Without the info here and Kurt's seminar I would have been lost.

    Thank's to everbody!!

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    Using the common formula, cost divided by the product of population served multiplied by usable service life, where cost is $250,000, population is 10,767 residents, and service life is 25 years. This equates to an average cost of $0.92 per person.

    Is this too deep for my narrative??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Menlo715 View Post
    Using the common formula, cost divided by the product of population served multiplied by usable service life, where cost is $250,000, population is 10,767 residents, and service life is 25 years. This equates to an average cost of $0.92 per person.

    Is this too deep for my narrative??
    It's really personal preference on how you address the above in the narrative.

    I have never shown a formula, but do something like this.

    The cost of the pumper project is $250,000 with a service life of 25 years equates to 92 per person.

    You may want to show the formula instead of words, it will be easier to visualize.

    Using the common formula, cost of project/(population x service life)....

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    Default I would go visual

    List it as 92 pennies with a little pocket lint.


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    Thanks again onebuble

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    buble.....bugle.

    too much typing today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Menlo715 View Post
    buble.....bugle.

    too much typing today.
    I hear you...getting writers cramp myself.

    Sometimes depending on the cost per person, I try to give the PR a visual reference to the cost.

    .......42 per person; the cost of a postage stamp.

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    'Onebuble' I like that! LOL

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